Why US Did Not Help India To Access GPS During Kargil War?
The US and Western Powers have usually treated terrorism in Kashmir, abetted by Pakistan as a Law and Order Problem of the Indian state. It was 9/11 that forced them to change their approach and they realized that terror is a problem that knows no borders. Moreover , certain states like Pakistan uses it as a State Policy.
Coming to Kargil War in 1999, the USA was aware that the Indian Subcontinent had the greatest risk of being embroiled in a nuclear war. In their so-called “lofty” approach they decided to help neither of the warring sides and wanted to take the higher ground by attempting to bring both parties at the negotiating table.
They believed that access to GPS or any technology for that matter would be construed as a help to India which may perhaps prolong the War.
There have been Several Other instances where USA has manipulated or denied this information which has made India go forward with its own independent positioning system.
- During the Iraq war, the Americans sent wrong GPS signals to the Iraqi jets and missiles, therefore Iraqis could not attack Americans forces in a precise manner.
- In 2012 US shut off it’s GPS satellites causing the BrahMos missile tests to fail. The GPS system couldn’t link onboard computers with hovering satellites eventually crippling its guidance system and keeping it from achieving mission objectives.
Their indifference led India to develop its own Satellite Program called NAVIC which is India’s indigenous GPS. India turned an obstacle into an opportunity.”Geopolitical needs teach you that some countries can deny you the service in times of conflict. It’s also a way of arm twisting and a country should protect itself against that,” said S Ramakrishnan, director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. This is the reasoning behind two types of services that IRNSS will be offering. The first is called Standard Positioning Service (SPS) which is for civilian use. This will have an accuracy of 20m, while the second is called Restricted Services (RS), which can detect movement of objects by less than 10m.
“Many weapon systems like guided missiles and bombs also use such navigation systems. An indigenous system allows the development of such capabilities in a reliable manner,” said Ramakrishnan. “There is also the need to have your own navigation system in the civilian and commercial domain since so many critical services and businesses depend on it. A system run by another country (like GPS) may be switched off in times of crisis leading to complete collapse of certain services.”
“There is no official confirmation of this Kargil story ,” said Ajey Lele, senior fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. “But as far as the armed forces are concerned, whether the GPS is allowing them access or not, they definitely require their own navigation system which is more accurate.”
The GPS signal that is made freely available for users across the world is a slightly degraded signal in terms of accuracy, explained Lele. A normal GPS signal may not help find a target with great accuracy. India is also a geographically challenging region with varied topography and vegetation. India’s own system will help focus on the specific conditions in the subcontinent resulting in better accuracy.
NAVIC is supposed to enhance both civilian and military navigation capability by providing two kinds of services. The Standard Positioning Service is for the former with accuracy of up to 20 meters and the Restricted Positioning will be for military use that will be zero in on terrestrial objects with an accuracy of 10 meters.
There are innumerable civilian uses for a satellite navigation system from transport, aviation and shipping to animal conservation using GPS tagging to disaster management by facilitating surveys and rescues in disaster-hit areas.
Thanks to the denial of US.Today we Have Our Own Navigation System.
Source:- Quora, TNN